• Sulaiman Alnasser Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology, Unaizah College of Pharmacy, Qassim University, Unaizah, Saudi Arabia.


Nasal drug delivery has received a great deal of attention as a convenient, reliable, and promising method for the systemic administration of drugs. It is especially for those molecules which are ineffective orally and only effective if administered by injection. The nasal route of drug delivery has advantages over the other alternative systems of non-invasive drug administration. The present review describes nasal delivery systems in recognizing to its potential and limits. The present review is an attempt to provide some information concerning nasal drug delivery system such as limitations, advantages, mechanism of drug absorption, anatomy of nasal cavity, factors affecting of nasal drug delivery, strategies to enhance nasal absorption, strategies to extend duration of drug formulations within the nasal cavity, leading to improved nasal drug absorption, novel drug formulations, sorts of nasal drug delivery system with uses of nasal drug delivery in various diseases, and recent advancement of nasal delivery systems.

Keywords: Nasal drug delivery systems, Non-invasive drug administration, Anatomy and physiology, Recent advancement.


1. Hicke AJ. Pharmaceutical Inhalation Aerosol Technology. 2nd ed. New York: Marcel Dekker, Inc.; 2004.
2. Sharma PK, Chaudhari P, Kolsure P, Ajab A, Varia N. Recenttrends in nasal drug delivery system - An overview. ARPB 2006;5:4.
3. Ramadan HH, Sanclement JA, Thomas JG. Chronic rhinosinusitis and biofilms. Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg 2005;132:414-7.
4. Mahita B, Vinod K. A clinic opathological study of allergic rhinitis. Asian J Pharm Clin Res 2017;10:186-91.
5. Shanu T, Nitin S, Sharma PK. A review on application of natural bio adhesive polysaccharides for intranasal drug delivery. Int J A.PS.BMS 2012;1:80-94.
6. Zaheer A, Swamy S. Mucoadhesive polymers: Drug carriers for improved nasal drug delivery. Indian J Novel Drug Deliv 2012;4:2-16.
7. Vyas SP, Khar RK. Targeted and Controlled Drug Delivery Novel Carrier System. 1st ed. New Delhi: CBS Publishers and Distributors; 2006. p. 173, 249, 331, 417.
8. Mahalaxmi R, Kumar DS, Shirwaikar A. preparation of mucoadhesive microsphere for nasal delivery by spray drying. Indian J Pharm Sci 2007;69:651-7.
9. Pires A, Fortuna A, Alves G, Falcão A. Intranasal drug delivery: How, why and what for? J Pharm Pharm Sci 2009;12:288-311.
10. Varshosaz J, Sadrai H, Heidari A. Nasal delivery of insulin using bioadhesive chitosan gels. Drug Deliv 2006;13:31-8.
11. Stoker DG, Reber KR, Waltzman LS, Ernst C, Hamilton D, Gawarecki D, et al. Analgesic efficacy and safety of morphine-chitosan nasal solution in patients with moderate to severe pain following orthopedic surgery. Pain Med 2008;9:3-12.
12. Patil SB, Sawant KK. Development, optimization and in vitro evaluation of alginate mucoadhesive microspheres of carvedilol for nasal delivery. J Microencapsul 2009;26:432-43.
13. Ding WX, Qi XR, Fu Q, Piao HS. Pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics of sterylglucoside-modified liposomes for levonorgestrel delivery via nasal route. Drug Deliv 2007;14:101-4.
14. Costantino HR, Illum L, Brandt G, Johnson PH, Quay SC. Intranasal delivery: Physicochemical and therapeutic aspects. Int J Pharm 2007;337:1-24.
15. Langley JM, Halperin SA, McNeil S, Smith B, Jones T, Burt D, et al. Safety and immunogenicity of a proteosome -trivalent inactivated influenza vaccine, given nasally to healthy adults. Vaccine 2006;24:1601-8.
16. Van Kampen KR, Shi Z, Gao P, Zhang J, Foster KW, Chen DT, et al. Safety and immunogenicity of adenovirus-vectored nasal and epicutaneous influenza vaccines in humans. Vaccine 2005;23:1029-36.
17. Greenberg DP, Walker RE, Lee MS, Reisinger KS, Ward JI, Yogev R, et al. A bovine parainfluenza virus type 3 vaccine is safe and immunogenic in early infancy. J Infect Dis 2005;191:1116-22.
18. Garmise RJ, Staats HF, Hickey AJ. Novel dry powder preparations of whole inactivated influenza virus for nasal vaccination. AAPS Pharm Sci Tech 2007;8:E81.
19. Ugwoke MI, Verbeke N, Kinget R. The biopharmaceutical aspects of nasal mucoadhesive drug delivery. J Pharm Pharmacol 2001;53:3-21.
20. Illum L. Transport of drugs from the nasal cavity to the central nervous system. Eur J Pharm Sci 2000;11:1-8.
21. Merkus P, Ebbens FA, Muller B, Fokkens WJ. The ‘best method’ of topical nasal drug delivery: Comparison of seven techniques. Rhinology 2006;44:102-7.
22. Al-Ghananeem AM, Sandefer EP, Doll WJ, Page RC, Chang Y, Digenis GA, et al. Gamma scintigraphy for testing bioequivalence: A case study on two cromolyn sodium nasal spray preparations. Int J Pharm 2008;357:70-6.
23. Kritika S, Bhupen K, Banasmita K. Development and characterization of mucoadhesive microsphere-loaded intranasal gel of venlafaxine hydrochloride. Asian J Pharm Clin Res 2016;9:139-44.
24. Wüthrich P, Buri P. The transnasal route of drug administration. Aspects of nasal anatomy and physiology. Pharm Acta Helv 1989;64:322-31.
25. Marple B, Roland P, Benninger M. Safety review of benzalkonium chloride used as a preservative in intranasal solutions: An overview of conflicting data and opinions. Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg 2004;130:131-41.
26. Fokkens WJ. Unmet needs in rhinology. Rhinology 2008;46:257-8.
27. Frank DO, Kimbell JS, Pawar S, Rhee JS. Effects of anatomy and particle size on nasal sprays and nebulizers. Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg 2012;146:313-9.
28. Guo Y, Laube B, Dalby R. The effect of formulation variables and breathing patterns on the site of nasal deposition in an anatomically correct model. Pharm Res 2005;22:1871-8.
29. Illum L. Nasal delivery. The use of animal models to predict performance in man. J Drug Target 1996;3:427-42.
30. Dey S, Mahanti B, Mazumder B, Malgope A, Dasgupta S. Nasal drug delivery: An approach of drug delivery through nasal route. Pelagia Res Lib 2011;2:94-106.
31. Molinari G, Colombo G, Celenza C. Respiratory allergies: A general overview of remedies, delivery systems, and the need to progress. ISRN Allergy 2014;2014:326980.
32. Chirag P, Tyagi S, Mangukia D, Ishita S, Shreya P, Pinkesh P, et al. A recent review on alternative system of parenteral delivery: Nasal drug delivery system. J Drug Discov Ther 2013;1:12-8.
33. Dale O, Nilsen T, Loftsson T, Hjorth Tønnesen H, Klepstad P, Kaasa S, et al. Intranasal midazolam: A comparison of two delivery devices in human volunteers. J Pharm Pharmacol 2006;58:1311-8.
34. Özer AY. The importance of intranasal route for application of drugs and nasal drug delivery systems. Pharm JTPA 1990;30:136-47.
35. Ravikumar R, Balan R, Ganesan N, Thiruvengadam D. Recent modalities in drug delivery via inhalation therapy – An advanced treatment strategy for pulmonary carcinoma. Int J Pharm Pharm Sci 2015;7:8-21.
36. Kublik H, Vidgren MT. Nasal delivery systems and their effect ondeposition and absorption. Adv Drug Deliv Rev 1998;29:157-77.
37. Benninger MS, Hadley JA, Osguthorpe JD, Marple BF, Leopold DA, Derebery MJ, et al. Techniques of intranasal steroid use. Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg 2004;130:5-24.
38. Newman SP, Morén F, Clarke SW. Deposition pattern of nasal sprays in man. Rhinology 1988;26:111-20.
39. Mosab A. Approaches to achieve an oral controlled release drug delivery system using polymers: A recent review. Int J Pharm Pharm Sci 2025;7:16-21.
40. Aulton ME. Pharmaceutics – The Science of Dosage form Design. New York: Churchill Livingston; 2002. p. 494.
41. Johnson NJ, Hanson LR, Frey WH. Trigeminal pathways deliver a low molecular weight drug from the nose to the brain and orofacial structures. Mol Pharm 2010;7:884-93.
42. Svensson S, Olin AC, Hellgren J. Increased net water loss by oral compared to nasal expiration in healthy subjects. Rhinology 2006;44:74-7.
43. Talegaonkar S, Mishra PR. Intranasal delivery: An approach to bypass the blood brainbarrier. Indian J Pharm 2004;36:140-7.
44. Hussein NR. Bioadhesive Microparticles and Liposomes of Anti- Parkinson Drugs for Nasal Delivery. Ph.D. Thesis, University of Central Lancashire; 2014.
45. Chajed S, Sangle S, Barhate S. Advantagious nasal drug delivery system - A review. Int J Pharm Sci Res 2011;2:1322-6.
46. Kumar PT, Vani MI, Yamini D, Raju PN, Reddy G. Recent advances in nasal formulations and devices used in pulmonary drug delivery. World J Pharm Pharm Sci 2013;2:3759-78
47. Inthavong K, Ge Q, Se CMK, Yang W, Tu JY. Simulation of sprayed particle deposition in a human nasal cavity including a nasal spray device. J Aerosol Sci 2011;42:100-13.
48. Darquenne C. Aerosol deposition in health and disease. J Aerosol Med Pulm Drug Deliv 2012;25:140-7.
49. Aurora J. Development of nasal delivery systems. A review. Drug Deliv Technol 2002;2:1-8.
50. Duquesnoy C, Mamet JP, Sumner D, Fuseau E. Comparative clinical pharmacokinetics of single doses of sumatriptan following subcutaneous, oral, rectal and intranasal administration. Eur J Pharm Sci 1998;6:99-104.
51. Luthringer R, Djupesland PG, Sheldrake CD, Flint A, Boeijinga P, Danjou P, et al. Rapid absorption of sumatriptan powder and effects on glyceryl trinitrate model of headache following intranasal delivery using a novel bi-directional device. J Pharm Pharmacol 2009;61:1219-28.
52. Sommer F, Kroger R, Lindemann J. Numerical simulation of humidification and heating during inspiration within an adult nose. Rhinology 2012;50:157-64.
53. Kleven M. Numerical Simulations and Experimental Studies for Nasal Delivery of Vaccines and Drugs. Thesis. NTNU; 2012. ISBN:978-82- 471-3398-9.
54. Illum L. Bioadhesive formulations for nasal peptide delivery. In: Mathiowitz E, Chickering DE, Lehr CM, editors. Drug Delivery Issues in Fundamentals, Novel Approaches, and Development. New York: Marcel Dekker; 1998. p. 507-39.
55. Hussain AA, Hirai S, Bawarshi R. Nasal absorption of natural contraceptive steroids in rats-progesterone absorption. J Pharm Sci 1981;70:466-7.
56. Hussain AA, Hirai S, Bawarshi R. Nasal absorption of propranolol in rats. J Pharm Sci 1979;68:1196.
57. Mahdi MH, Conway BR, Smith AM. Development of mucoadhesive sprayable gellan gum fluid gels. Int J Pharm 2015;488:12-9.
58. Djupesland PG, Skretting A. Nasal deposition and clearance in man: Comparison of a bidirectional powder device and a traditional liquid spray pump. J Aerosol Med Pulm Drug Deliv 2012;25:280-9.
59. Laube BL. Devices for aerosol delivery to treat sinusitis. J Aerosol Med 2007;20 Suppl 1:S5-17.
60. Aggarwal R, Cardozo A, Homer JJ. The assessment of topical nasal drug distribution. Clin Otolaryngol Allied Sci 2004;29:201-5.
61. Rudman KL, O’Brien EK, Leopold DA. Radiographic distribution of drops and sprays within the sinonasal cavities. Am J Rhinol Allergy 2011;25:94-7.
62. Hammarlund-Udenaes M, de Lange E, Thorne RG. Pharmacokinetic concepts in brain drug delivery in drug delivery to the brain. In: Physiological Concepts, Methodologies and Approaches. New York: Springer; 2014. p. 127-61.
63. Harmon BT, Aly AE, Padegimas L, Sesenoglu-Laird O, Cooper MJ, Waszczak BL, et al. Intranasal administration of plasmid DNA nanoparticles yields successful transfection and expression of a reporter protein in rat brain. Gene Ther 2014;21:514-21.
64. Kaye RS, Purewal TS, Alpar OH. Development and testing of particulate formulations for the nasal delivery of antibodies. J Control Release 2009;135:127-35.
65. Hardy JG, Lee SW, Wilson CG. Intranasal drug delivery by spray and drops. J Pharm Pharmacol 1985;37:294-7.
66. Haque S, Md S, Sahni JK, Ali J, Baboota S. Development and evaluation of brain targeted intranasal alginate nanoparticles for treatment of depression. J Psychiatr Res 2014;48:1-2.
67. Watson J, Wright S, Lucas A, Clarke KL, Viggers J, Cheetham S, et al. Receptor occupancy and brain free fraction. Drug Metab Dispos 2009;37:753-60.
68. Dinanath G, Padmini K, Dipak M, Namdeo J. Development of particulate mucoadhesive gel for intranasal delivery. Asian J Pharm Clin Res 2017;10:222.
69. Charlton ST, Davis SS, Illum L. Evaluation of bioadhesive polymers as delivery systems for nose to brain delivery: In vitro characterisation studies. J Control Release 2007;118:225-34.
70. Giuliani A, Balducci AG, Zironi E, Colombo G, Bortolotti F, Lorenzini L, et al. In vivo nose-to-brain delivery of the hydrophilic antiviral ribavirin by microparticle agglomerates. Drug Deliv 2018;25:376-87.
71. Deleu D, Hanssens Y. Current and emerging second-generation triptans in acute migraine therapy: A comparative review. J Clin Pharmacol 2000;40:687-700.
72. Mustafa E, Shaimaa NM, Al A. Design zolmitriptan liquisolid orodispersible tablets and their in vitro evaluation. Int J Pharm Pharm Sci 2016;9:297-303.
73. Zhang H, Lin CW, Donovan MD. Correlation between nasal membrane permeability and nasal absorption rate. AAPS PharmSciTech 2013;14:60-3.
74. Pelgrim GJ, Das M, Haberland U,Slump C, Handayani A, van Tuij S, et al. Development of an ex vivo, beating heart model for CT myocardial perfusion. Biomed Res Int 2015;2015:8.
75. Kozlovskaya L, Abou-Kaoud M, Stepensky D. Quantitative analysis of drug delivery to the brain via nasal route. J Control Release 2014;189:133-40.
76. Thornton-Manning JR, Dahl AR. Metabolic capacity of nasal tissue interspecies comparisons of xenobiotic-metabolizing enzymes. Mutat Res 1997;380:43-59.
77. Stevens J, Ploeger BA, van der Graaf PH, Danhof M, de Lange EC. Systemic and direct nose-to-brain transport pharmacokinetic model for remoxipride after intravenous and intranasal administration. Drug Metab Dispos 2011;39:2275-82.
594 Views | 1161 Downloads
How to Cite
Alnasser, S. “A REVIEW ON NASAL DRUG DELIVERY SYSTEM AND ITS CONTRIBUTION IN THERAPEUTIC MANAGEMENT”. Asian Journal of Pharmaceutical and Clinical Research, Vol. 12, no. 1, Jan. 2019, pp. 40-45, doi:10.22159/ajpcr.2019.v12i1.29443.
Review Article(s)